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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Top 10 Hella Tight Bay Area Rap T-Shirts

Posted By on Tue, Nov 20, 2012 at 10:19 AM

click to enlarge Hiero Mickey shirt by Hieroglyphics. - HIERO IMPERIUM
  • Hiero Imperium
  • Hiero Mickey shirt by Hieroglyphics.

Here in the Yay Area, we like to wear our affection for local rap on our sleeves. Our favorite hip-hop T-shirts are largely silly novelties that make us smile, with a sprinkling of iconic imagery that has lasted in some cases for as long as 20 years. Whether Hieroglyphics or Humpty Hump, here are our top 10 old and new classics.

See Also:

* Blondie's Debbie Harry Is Still Not Used to Seeing Her Face on T-Shirts

click to enlarge Unisex crew shirt by Lil Debbie. - LILDEBBIE.ORG
  • lildebbie.org
  • Unisex crew shirt by Lil Debbie.
10. Lil Debbie Unisex Crew Neck East Bay native Jordan Capozzi (aka Lil Debbie) has amassed a cult following for her stylish looks, first given a platform as part of the White Girl Mob in Kreayshawn's viral video "Gucci Gucci" in 2011. Her daily postings on Instagram instantly get thousands of likes, and now you can wear a picture of her smoking in the bathtub close to your heart.
Hip Hop Godfather shirt by Mac Dre.
  • Hip Hop Godfather shirt by Mac Dre.
9. Hip-Hop Godfather Sadly, rapper Mac Dre's life was cut short before the full impact of his career could be realized, but his influence is still felt both in the music and in the style of the scene. His Godfather status is frozen in time with this artifact.
Pre-ratchetness, there was hyphy.
  • Pre-ratchetness, there was hyphy.
8. Got Hyphy? It has been more than five years since the heyday of hyphy, throwing this shirt firmly into throwback-humor territory. We got hyphy, past tense, but this is a great placeholder until our next term for the crunk-hearted takes hold.
Rest in Peace shirt by Rapbay. - RAPBAY
  • Rapbay
  • Rest in Peace shirt by Rapbay.
7. Rest in Peace by Rapbay A true local music fan will really feel this sobering, heartfelt tribute to many of the fallen soldiers of Bay Area rap music. Artists honored include Mac Dre, Cougnut, Rappin Ron, and 2Pac.
Hammertime shirt by MC Hammer. - DEFUNKT.COM
  • defunkt.com
  • Hammertime shirt by MC Hammer.
6. Hammertime by MC Hammer This 22-year-old relic is a vintage reminder of when pants were parachute-y and the whole world got to know a funky brother from the city of Oakland. And since the '90s retro fever is officially in full swing, this is definitely a good one to dust off from your mom's closet.
Mac Dre Polo Stripe shirt by Thizz Clothing. - RAPBAY.COM
  • rapbay.com
  • Mac Dre Polo Stripe shirt by Thizz Clothing.
5. Mac Dre Polo Stripe by Thizz Clothing When this memorial shirt came out, local hip-hop was all about getting its "grown man on." The style is still classic and a nice tribute to Mac Dre's memory.
'93 Til shirt by Hieroglyphics. - HIERO IMPERIUM
  • Hiero Imperium
  • '93 Til shirt by Hieroglyphics.
4. '93 Til by Hieroglyphics This shirt represents the classic anthem "'93 Til Infinity" by Oakland's Souls of Mischief. But it's also gotten a lot of love from people born in the year 1993. A brilliant blend of old- school and new-school can be emblazoned across your chest.
2 Legit 2 Quit shirt by 212Q on Cafe Press. - 212Q
  • 212Q
  • 2 Legit 2 Quit shirt by 212Q on Cafe Press.
3. 2 Legit 2 Quit shirt by 212Q There is a whole Cafe Press cottage industry selling MC Hammer-themed T-shirts. There are dozens of Hammertime offerings, but this is the minimalist winner.
click to enlarge The Humpty Dance by Digital Underground. - DIGITAL UNDERGROUND
  • Digital Underground
  • The Humpty Dance by Digital Underground.
2. The Humpty Dance by Digital Underground This cartoonish shirt depicting the original big-nosed rapper (and drawn by his creator/alter ego, Shock G) has, like the '90s, been making a comeback. It isn't pictured here, but the version of this shirt in our personal collection has a vital extra tagline: "Hump Who Ya Like."
Classic logo tee by Hieroglyphics. - HIERO IMPERIUM
  • Hiero Imperium
  • Classic logo tee by Hieroglyphics.
1. Classic logo tee by Hieroglyphics This simple yet powerful third eye symbol has come to represent the Bay Area all over the world. The popularity of the original shirt has lasted from '93 'til at least 2012, but the logo has been around even longer than that. Hiero member Del The Funky Homosapien created the image when he was in junior high school. (Talk about prescience.) More recently, it has been remixed and mashed up in clever forms with other iconic images like Mickey Mouse and the Oakland Raiders.

-- @teemoney415



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Tamara Palmer

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